img_4996

 

I saw a burning bush today.

Candy apple red,

It took my breath away.

 

Is there a finer sight than the splendor of an autumn landscape in the American northeast? Each stroke of the master Artist’s brush layering subtle hues of vibrant red, burnt sienna, deep ochre, rich amber, and goldenrod. Day by day the colors deepen until their host shakes free of them and rests all the winter long in a coat of sterile brown and gray.

 

But today there is no gray. Limbs recede from view as an explosion of red flames dance before my eyes. The early afternoon light seems to illumine them from within. This is my burning bush. My Pennsylvania burning bush. There is no holy fire burning on this little hillside, just the stroke of artistry from the brush of my holy God. And yet, I hear You whisper,

 

The place on which you are standing is holy ground.

 

Holy ground? This little hillside? How can that be? I am no Moses; this bush is not really aflame. What are you saying to me?

 

And then You help me see.

 

You remind me that Your very Spirit has taken up residence within me.

 

The Father will give you another Helper, the Spirit of Truth, that He may be with you forever. You know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

 

Everyone who is called by Your name, who chooses to allow You Your rightful place on the throne of his heart, is a little burning bush. When I invite the living God to infuse my thoughts with His thoughts, when my heart burns within me at the nearness of the living God, when my words take on the color and hue of The Word, then I too am a little burning bush, aflame with the love and presence of my living God. As His burning bush, I carry His holiness within me and everywhere my feet touch can transform this earthen sod into holy ground.

 

img_5003

 

I saw a burning bush today.

Deep burnt orange,

It took my breath away.

 

I see burning bushes all around. To those who have stopped, and turned, and fixed their gaze on the living God, He will reveal Himself. To those who turn aside from being their own god and choose to follow the living God, He will disclose marvelous things. To those who see the living God, He will call them by name. To those who willingly respond, “Here I am,” He will fill with His Spirit.

 

Will I respond with a willingness to be His hands and feet on earth? Will I say “yes” to being a tabernacle in which the Spirit may dwell? Will my “Here I am” resound this day and in the days to come, signaling my desire for Your will over mine? Will I stop and turn and fix my gaze upon the living God or will I live like those described in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s keen observation:

 

Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

 

Will I pluck blackberries today or will I breathe in the fire of the living God and exhale his love to the world around me?

 

img_4981

 

I saw a burning bush today.

Goldenrod yellow,

It took my breath away.

 

Do I have eyes to see you? Do I have ears to hear you? Will I take you with me today, enthroned on my heart, so that where I go, You go?

 

The ground on which my feet tread is holy ground. May I never lose the wonder of gazing on my Lord. May I never lose the wonder that You chose me to be the tabernacle of Your Holy Spirit. May I never take for granted that where I go is holy ground when I invite Your presence in my every movement and breath. May I never cease to give You thanks and praise for Your boundless love for me.

 

I saw a burning bush today.

Father, Son, and Spirit forever with me,

It took my breath away.

 

 

Inspired by Pennsylvania autumn and Exodus 3: 1-6 and John 14.